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No. 16

Personal Finance Advice and Education!

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Just now, Chadstroma said:

@matttylInsurance and taxes are my two big blinds spots in personal finance.

So, in as much as life insurance goes. When an employer offers basic life insurance for free (I think it is a year's worth of salary) and then offers more that you pay for (multiplier of salary). In general, is this a good, bad or neutral thing? I mean, are you getting a discount (generally speaking) versus contacting an agent and getting a policy on your own?

No, not at all.  Generally, those policies are "guaranteed issue" - meaning that anyone working for that company can get it without answering any medical questions.  What happens is all the unhealthy folks flock right to it.  Now, the company may pay a portion of that additional charge, but most don't.  If you're healthy, young, and a non-smoker, you can typically do much better on your own.  Moreover, you don't have to worry about losing the coverage because you change jobs or the company cuts back on benefits.

Think of it like auto insurance - some company out there says that will give coverage to anyone without asking about driving record or anything.  All the folks with DUIs and multiple tickets will flock right to it.  If you've got a decent driving record, you can do much better shopping for yourself.  Same idea here.

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1 minute ago, matttyl said:

No, not at all.  Generally, those policies are "guaranteed issue" - meaning that anyone working for that company can get it without answering any medical questions.  What happens is all the unhealthy folks flock right to it.  Now, the company may pay a portion of that additional charge, but most don't.  If you're healthy, young, and a non-smoker, you can typically do much better on your own.  Moreover, you don't have to worry about losing the coverage because you change jobs or the company cuts back on benefits.

Think of it like auto insurance - some company out there says that will give coverage to anyone without asking about driving record or anything.  All the folks with DUIs and multiple tickets will flock right to it.  If you've got a decent driving record, you can do much better shopping for yourself.  Same idea here.

Makes absolute sense.

What about the accident/dismemberment offered through the company as well? You wouldn't have the same dynamic as above. Is that a good idea? Cost advantage?

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Just now, Chadstroma said:

Makes absolute sense.

What about the accident/dismemberment offered through the company as well? You wouldn't have the same dynamic as above. Is that a good idea? Cost advantage?

You mean disability insurance?  Or some AFLEC type thing?

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4 minutes ago, matttyl said:

No, not at all.  Generally, those policies are "guaranteed issue" - meaning that anyone working for that company can get it without answering any medical questions.  What happens is all the unhealthy folks flock right to it.  Now, the company may pay a portion of that additional charge, but most don't.  If you're healthy, young, and a non-smoker, you can typically do much better on your own.  Moreover, you don't have to worry about losing the coverage because you change jobs or the company cuts back on benefits.

Think of it like auto insurance - some company out there says that will give coverage to anyone without asking about driving record or anything.  All the folks with DUIs and multiple tickets will flock right to it.  If you've got a decent driving record, you can do much better shopping for yourself.  Same idea here.

It still can't hurt to check.  My company offers incredible rates on life insurance.  I have some through them and some through a private term policy I got through Met Life.

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Just now, Tiger Fan said:

It still can't hurt to check.  My company offers incredible rates on life insurance.  I have some through them and some through a private term policy I got through Met Life.

Can depend on the company (you work for) and the carriers offering the plans.  If you're young, and you work for a young company (average age of employee) the rates can be very low.  Keep in mind, though, that the majority of those plans have "age banded" life rates - means that you (making up numbers here) might be paying $10 a month for an extra x2 salary addition at age 30, but at age 40 it could be $30 a month, and at age 50 $60 a month.  The rates aren't "locked in" like they would be for the duration of a term policy.

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45 minutes ago, matttyl said:

You mean disability insurance?  Or some AFLEC type thing?

Accidential Death and Dismemberment Insurance. :shrug:

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Just now, Chadstroma said:

Accidential Death and Dismemberment Insurance. :shrug:

Depends on the rates - but if you already have life insurance of an appropriate amount (which pays no matter how you pass away), why buy this that would only pay if you pass away in a very specific way?

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2 minutes ago, matttyl said:

Depends on the rates - but if you already have life insurance of an appropriate amount (which pays no matter how you pass away), why buy this that would only pay if you pass away in a very specific way?

:shrug:

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55 minutes ago, matttyl said:

You mean disability insurance?  Or some AFLEC type thing?

Like Ben, so we'd become Batman? :excited: 

or Bruce Wayne which sounds like more fun.

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My guess is that the cost is less than life insurance and then it also has the extra protection of being a supplement to long term disability insurance in that if I lost an arm- I would get paid out.

Or something. :shrug:

Like I said.... insurance and taxes are blind spots for me. I really don't know and haven't put the time/effort into knowing. As I get older (hitting 40 next year) I have started (key there is started... basically, I had the thought "Hey, I need to learn more about insurance and get some") to think about insurance. Other than that.... I don't know.

I also have to spend time looking for new home/auto coverage too. Was not happy with Allstate with my major accident a couple of years ago and I am sure I can get less expensive coverage as well.

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10 hours ago, matttyl said:

Depends on the rates - but if you already have life insurance of an appropriate amount (which pays no matter how you pass away), why buy this that would only pay if you pass away in a very specific way?

Dark question, but does your family still collect life insurance if you kill yourself?  I always thought that wasn't the case

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I remember johnnycakes had a policy that would pay out on death. Speaking of which has anyone seen him?

Edited by Gawain
death=suicide

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11 hours ago, NutterButter said:

Dark question, but does your family still collect life insurance if you kill yourself?  I always thought that wasn't the case

Suicide is only excluded on the majority of policies for the first 24 months.  After that, it wouldn't matter for the claim.  Carriers believe that one can not contemplate taking their own life more than 2 years in the future, but it has happened (not with any of my clients). 

One that has come up more often (more and more recently, tragically) is "act of war".  That's excluded on most policies as well.  It was originally there years ago in case the guy was drafted or something, "war" meaning the military connotation - but the question was raised by quite a few carriers after 9/11, and in other terrorist actions since.  For the most part, though, a carrier doesn't want to be in the news for not paying a claim after the policy holder was killed by some religious fanatic. 

Edited by matttyl

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11 hours ago, Gawain said:

I remember johnnycakes had a policy that would pay out on death. Speaking of which has anyone seen him?

Did seem like his plan....I think the two years were up sometime this month.   However, looks like he was posting last night

Edited by Slapdash

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Any idea if LIBOR is going to stay low for the next few years?

Wife has 118k in student loan debt at an average rate of 7.5%. We can get a lower rate through SoFi (3.99 fixed or 2.94 variable, both 5-year). Lower when I co-sign. Any projections for LIBOR?

 

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1 hour ago, Rick James said:

Any idea if LIBOR is going to stay low for the next few years?

Wife has 118k in student loan debt at an average rate of 7.5%. We can get a lower rate through SoFi (3.99 fixed or 2.94 variable, both 5-year). Lower when I co-sign. Any projections for LIBOR?

 

Gonna go up at some point just when?

Personally, I'd take the 3.9% fixed. The 1% difference now isn't worth the risk that rates jump, imo.

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Have we discussed any favorite funds?

Any particular fidelity or vanguard funds that you absolutely love?

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1 hour ago, Rick James said:

Any idea if LIBOR is going to stay low for the next few years?

Wife has 118k in student loan debt at an average rate of 7.5%. We can get a lower rate through SoFi (3.99 fixed or 2.94 variable, both 5-year). Lower when I co-sign. Any projections for LIBOR?

 

It will go up, the question is how much and when. Only 105bps difference, I would take the fixed unless you expected to pay off even quicker than the 5 years... then I would take advantage of the lower rate and try to knock it out before any worries about the rate going up too much. But even if you don't take that route you could take the variable and be ok. Most likely by the time it goes up to the point you will be higher than the fixed (assuming it does)- you will have knocked the principle down enough that it wouldn't hurt much and you would still come out ahead.

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10 minutes ago, eoMMan said:

Have we discussed any favorite funds?

Any particular fidelity or vanguard funds that you absolutely love?

Nothing I would particularly say but I do love FeeX to double check your current funds for similar ones at lower cost. I thought I did a good job in keeping the cost ratio down but using this free site, it found a couple of moves I could make with estimated savings of about $3K over 28 years. Moved VDAIX to VIG and FUSEX to VOO. I would certainly recommend everyone using this site to further find cost reductions in your funds.

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21 minutes ago, Chadstroma said:

Nothing I would particularly say but I do love FeeX to double check your current funds for similar ones at lower cost. I thought I did a good job in keeping the cost ratio down but using this free site, it found a couple of moves I could make with estimated savings of about $3K over 28 years. Moved VDAIX to VIG and FUSEX to VOO. I would certainly recommend everyone using this site to further find cost reductions in your funds.

This.  We have moved funds to VOO in our IRAs for our sp500 exposure.  Any downside to this?

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6 minutes ago, Random said:

This.  We have moved funds to VOO in our IRAs for our sp500 exposure.  Any downside to this?

Nothing I would say in my case of moving from the FUSEX to VOO- basically same exact thing just lower cost. I have a mix of funds and a few companies. I put a good amount of effort in looking for lower cost funds in my choices and felt I did well but FeeX is a great way to double check your work.

I am one in the boat of not having your funds over managed and then your return eroded from higher cost. I park the money and let the market forces give me the returns and protect that by keeping the costs down.

Personally, I can't see a downside.

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46 minutes ago, Chadstroma said:

Nothing I would particularly say but I do love FeeX to double check your current funds for similar ones at lower cost. I thought I did a good job in keeping the cost ratio down but using this free site, it found a couple of moves I could make with estimated savings of about $3K over 28 years. Moved VDAIX to VIG and FUSEX to VOO. I would certainly recommend everyone using this site to further find cost reductions in your funds.

This is an awesome resource.  Just make sure you watch out for any tax implications of your trading.  I saved something along the lines of $50k over 29 years and I was already pretty low-fee.

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Hey guys, my father and I have had a good chunk of $ invested in mutual funds through Edward Jones for quite a few years. I've been going through the fees those funds are charging (anywhere from .58% to 1.08% for mine) and the performance. Needless to say, I'm now leaning towards shifting the accounts to Vanguard. I'm not really seeing any benefit to keeping the funds at Ed Jones. Most of these funds are American Funds which had a front-load fee (yikes). 

Anyway, I'm looking for advice on the move. First, can someone confirm that for two investors (my dad and I) who don't need any real hand holding, staying with EJ is pretty senseless? I'm wising I would have come to this conclusion earlier. Next, I wanted to know how difficult the process is to sell and re-buy through Vanguard. Can the Vanguard rep do the entire process over the phone, or will I need to speak with the sleazy EJ rep who will be trying to lure me back with his sales pitch?

Finally, my dad is pretty old school and he would like to have paper statements and information mailed to him. I'm helping him a lot with the process, but he's not computer savvy and his main worry is that he wants to have the relevant information sent to him in paper copy. He's pretty dubious about transferring his $ online as he has a tough time understanding the interwebs :) Hopefully this is an option with Vanguard? If so, do you guys know what fees might be involved?

I know I can find this information over the phone with Vanguard, but I have lots of up front prep to do before calling them and I know you guys are a great resource for advice. Hopefully some of you have some experience I can draw on. Thanks in advance!!

 

Edited by Warrior
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When I transferred assets to Vanguard from another brokerage, I just had to fill out a couple forms online through Vanguard and they took care of the rest. I had no interaction wth the old brokerage. 

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1 hour ago, Warrior said:

Hey guys, my father and I have had a good chunk of $ invested in mutual funds through Edward Jones for quite a few years. I've been going through the fees those funds are charging (anywhere from .58% to 1.08% for mine) and the performance. Needless to say, I'm now leaning towards shifting the accounts to Vanguard. I'm not really seeing any benefit to keeping the funds at Ed Jones. Most of these funds are American Funds which had a front-load fee (yikes). 

Anyway, I'm looking for advice on the move. First, can someone confirm that for two investors (my dad and I) who don't need any real hand holding, staying with EJ is pretty senseless? I'm wising I would have come to this conclusion earlier. Next, I wanted to know how difficult the process is to sell and re-buy through Vanguard. Can the Vanguard rep do the entire process over the phone, or will I need to speak with the sleazy EJ rep who will be trying to lure me back with his sales pitch?

Finally, my dad is pretty old school and he would like to have paper statements and information mailed to him. I'm helping him a lot with the process, but he's not computer savvy and his main worry is that he wants to have the relevant information sent to him in paper copy. He's pretty dubious about transferring his $ online as he has a tough time understanding the interwebs :) Hopefully this is an option with Vanguard? If so, do you guys know what fees might be involved?

I know I can find this information over the phone with Vanguard, but I have lots of up front prep to do before calling them and I know you guys are a great resource for advice. Hopefully some of you have some experience I can draw on. Thanks in advance!!

 

 

Process was painless for me.  Got decent basic advice but had my own thoughts.  I carried over a package of individual stocks left over from a Wells Fargo Compass account and a bunch of individual muni bonds that I wanted to keep (individual stocks - I didn't want to pay taxes on them simply to reinvest them in Vanguard funds).  The rest I did put into several basic admiral funds.  Highly recommend Vanguard.  

Read Bogleheads books and check out their boards as well.  

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1 hour ago, Binky The Doormat said:

Process was painless for me.  Got decent basic advice but had my own thoughts.  I carried over a package of individual stocks left over from a Wells Fargo Compass account and a bunch of individual muni bonds that I wanted to keep (individual stocks - I didn't want to pay taxes on them simply to reinvest them in Vanguard funds).  The rest I did put into several basic admiral funds.  Highly recommend Vanguard.  

Read Bogleheads books and check out their boards as well.  

Thank you. After reading up a bit, I'm a bit worried about the transfer. Wouldn't I need to pay capital gains taxes when I sell the EJ mutual funds and use them to buy Vanguard ETF funds (for example)? I'll hang up now and head over to Bogleheads for a bit to see if I can find that information, but if someone here who has done this already has a bit of advice, I would appreciate it. Thanks!

Edited by Warrior

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4 minutes ago, Warrior said:

Thank you. After reading up a bit, I'm a bit worried about the transfer. Wouldn't I need to pay capital gains taxes when I sell the EJ funds and use them to buy Vanguard funds? I'll hang up now and head over to Bogleheads for a bit to see if I can find that information, but if someone here who has done this already has a bit of advice, I would appreciate it. Thanks!

 
 

Pretty sure you are going to have to liquidate the EJ funds and pay taxes on your gains - in your taxable account.  If its in some kind of retirement - then no tax impact.

ETA:  I believe there is some kind of account closure fee of around a $100, but not sure.  Give your guy a call.

Edited by Binky The Doormat

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5 minutes ago, Binky The Doormat said:

Pretty sure you are going to have to liquidate the EJ funds and pay taxes on your gains - in your taxable account.  If its in some kind of retirement - then no tax impact.

ETA:  I believe there is some kind of account closure fee of around a $100, but not sure.  Give your guy a call.

Thanks!

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Paid off all our bad debts after receiving a nice work windfall this year.  Cleared the decks of credit cards, student loans, car loans, and any other debt you'd prefer not to have.  Left with a pretty hefty mortgage, and also debt related to my buy-in of shares in my law firm (which is not bad debt, since we're hooked up with very low interest rates, and the investment into the firm sits in an account that pays a higher interest rate than the interest rate on the loan).

Now finally getting to the point of financial health and stability where we probably should have been years ago, but it feels good.  Stocking up the 401k as much as possible (it's mandatory through my law firm), putting money into 529s on a monthly basis for my girls, and also putting a smallish amount (1k a month) into a local brokerage fund investment.  Feel like I'm finally doing the right things, though at some point I'm considering going in and sitting down with a financial planner to have someone actually look at the full picture and see what we should be doing -- I pay little attention to it, and I'm certain we could be doing much smarter things.

Do you all do the financial planner/adviser thing?  Recommend it?

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9 minutes ago, Otis said:

Paid off all our bad debts after receiving a nice work windfall this year.  Cleared the decks of credit cards, student loans, car loans, and any other debt you'd prefer not to have.  Left with a pretty hefty mortgage, and also debt related to my buy-in of shares in my law firm (which is not bad debt, since we're hooked up with very low interest rates, and the investment into the firm sits in an account that pays a higher interest rate than the interest rate on the loan).

Now finally getting to the point of financial health and stability where we probably should have been years ago, but it feels good.  Stocking up the 401k as much as possible (it's mandatory through my law firm), putting money into 529s on a monthly basis for my girls, and also putting a smallish amount (1k a month) into a local brokerage fund investment.  Feel like I'm finally doing the right things, though at some point I'm considering going in and sitting down with a financial planner to have someone actually look at the full picture and see what we should be doing -- I pay little attention to it, and I'm certain we could be doing much smarter things.

Do you all do the financial planner/adviser thing?  Recommend it?

I'll briefly chime in and mention that I've recently read that if you've got a decent chunk of $, you may want to speak to a fin'l planner that charges a one time fee to discuss your situation with you. Others may help you invest your $ and then charge you a % of that investment each year to maintain it. The second scenario may be much more costly over a long period of time.

I don't have a lot of information on this, but just briefly read about it recently, so take that for what it's worth.

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There are two types of FAs - those that are fee-only, and the others.  The others get paid by moving you into specific investments.  You don't want those guys (or gals).

 

A decent link for fee-only advisors is here https://www.napfa.org/

Expect to pay $2500 or so for a full assessment (it will take them 20-40 hours, and a decent FA bills at a reasonable rate).  They can then manage your investments (a good rate might be 0.05% AUM).  

 

With all that said, I see no real reason to do all that unless I am 50-60 and really want to get a good retirement model done.  Even then, not so hard to do it yourself. 

You can get good advice here, free.  You can get excellent advice at bogleheads.org, free.  

The bad news - they will tell you to stop your local brokerage thing

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Also go check out firecalc.  With a little bit of time you can do some realistic retirement planning.  

You can also go pretty detailed if you want to put in a little more time.

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8 hours ago, wilked said:

Expect to pay $2500 or so for a full assessment (it will take them 20-40 hours, and a decent FA bills at a reasonable rate).  They can then manage your investments (a good rate might be 0.05% AUM). 

Who manages money for 0.05%? The robos aren't even that cheap.

ETA: one thing to note, if you work with a FA on a one-time analysis, it should be way more than an investment review. They should be reviewing college saving, checking to see if you're adequately (or over) insured, etc. It should be a holistic analysis. 

Edited by Andrew74

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Make sure you mention to the financial advisor you are going to need enough spare cash handy to blow $70,000 every so often on online blackjack. 

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17 hours ago, Warrior said:

Thank you. After reading up a bit, I'm a bit worried about the transfer. Wouldn't I need to pay capital gains taxes when I sell the EJ mutual funds and use them to buy Vanguard ETF funds (for example)? I'll hang up now and head over to Bogleheads for a bit to see if I can find that information, but if someone here who has done this already has a bit of advice, I would appreciate it. Thanks!

:yes:

And you will be paying for account closures - EJ will make sure to take their lb. of flesh on the way out.  Still probably worth it.  If you have losers you will at least be able to offset those a bit.

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2 hours ago, dino259 said:

@Otis just pay @Dentist to do it.

Would be good shtick if nothing else.

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17 hours ago, wilked said:

There are two types of FAs - those that are fee-only, and the others.  The others get paid by moving you into specific investments.  You don't want those guys (or gals).

 

A decent link for fee-only advisors is here https://www.napfa.org/

Expect to pay $2500 or so for a full assessment (it will take them 20-40 hours, and a decent FA bills at a reasonable rate).  They can then manage your investments (a good rate might be 0.05% AUM).  

 

With all that said, I see no real reason to do all that unless I am 50-60 and really want to get a good retirement model done.  Even then, not so hard to do it yourself. 

You can get good advice here, free.  You can get excellent advice at bogleheads.org, free.  

The bad news - they will tell you to stop your local brokerage thing

As to the bolded, I assume they'll just tell me to start up my own account online at Schwabb or something? 

Is that how you guys are investing your "extra" money?  If so, which is best?  This guy was a family relationship, but my parents just left there and I really have no incentive to stay there -- I suppose no harm in moving that account over to somewhere else.

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5 minutes ago, Otis said:

Would be good shtick if nothing else.

I don't think i have any ideas that i haven't already spouted in this thread or in another related investment thread.

Otis could always post a question about a specific investment or even post his entire portfolio and get enough good advice from me or many other incredibly knowledgeable posters in this thread and get as good of advice as he could pay for.

Having said that, Otis also has some unique challenges to high net worth individuals with tax management, estate planning, etc that many people don't have.

 

Here is something for you to peruse Otis...  it's a finance site for doctors,  but really it could be for anyone with a medium to high net worth

http://whitecoatinvestor.com/8-reasons-you-should-be-your-own-advisor/

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7 minutes ago, Otis said:

As to the bolded, I assume they'll just tell me to start up my own account online at Schwabb or something? 

Is that how you guys are investing your "extra" money?  If so, which is best?  This guy was a family relationship, but my parents just left there and I really have no incentive to stay there -- I suppose no harm in moving that account over to somewhere else.

I use merrill edge because I have a lot of money with bank of america and get free trades.

I think TD ameritrade is the best deal in the business for most people.   You get a ton of access to commission free etfs,  many from vanguard with the lowest expense ratios.

Nothing wrong with Schwab.. they have their own lineup of etfs that are super cheap and completely appropriate. 

Also nothing wrong with vanguard...  you get all their etfs commission free and their lineup is also good enough to make a great portfolio

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:kicksrock:  just thinking back about 12 years ago when I closed my buyandhold.com account and didn't realize I could just transfer the holdings.  Had about $5000 in Amazon (100 shares), which I didn't repurchase because I didn't want to spend the money to buy all the 5 individual stocks (don't recall what else I owned).  well that's now worth over $60k  :bag: 

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We set up the automatic investment into our IRA at Vanguard.  Was going into VFINX, recently moved the balance into VOO (ETF - save on fees).  Anyone know how to change the automatic investment to go into VOO (it seems to force me to choose a fund or settlement account - not the ETF)?

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10 hours ago, Andrew74 said:

Who manages money for 0.05%? The robos aren't even that cheap.

ETA: one thing to note, if you work with a FA on a one-time analysis, it should be way more than an investment review. They should be reviewing college saving, checking to see if you're adequately (or over) insured, etc. It should be a holistic analysis. 

Oops, was off a decimal.  0.5% AUM, not 0.05, my bad

My FIL just met with an FA, that's where my quoted rates come from ($2500 for a full analysis, and going forward 0.5% AUM if he wants his assets managed).  This is in Boston.

 

 

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1 hour ago, Otis said:

As to the bolded, I assume they'll just tell me to start up my own account online at Schwabb or something? 

Is that how you guys are investing your "extra" money?  If so, which is best?  This guy was a family relationship, but my parents just left there and I really have no incentive to stay there -- I suppose no harm in moving that account over to somewhere else.

is this just "Extra" money in a cash account?  Have you maxed all of your retirement and 529 contributions?

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1 hour ago, Dentist said:

I don't think i have any ideas that i haven't already spouted in this thread or in another related investment thread.

Otis could always post a question about a specific investment or even post his entire portfolio and get enough good advice from me or many other incredibly knowledgeable posters in this thread and get as good of advice as he could pay for.

Having said that, Otis also has some unique challenges to high net worth individuals with tax management, estate planning, etc that many people don't have.

 

Here is something for you to peruse Otis...  it's a finance site for doctors,  but really it could be for anyone with a medium to high net worth

http://whitecoatinvestor.com/8-reasons-you-should-be-your-own-advisor/

 

Book worth reading?

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6 minutes ago, Tiger Fan said:

 

Book worth reading?

i bought it,   I wouldn't buy it unless I was specifically an MD who probably was a resident as there was too much about student loans and doctor programs.

He did pen one of the chapters in the bogleheads books though

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51 minutes ago, Dentist said:

i bought it,   I wouldn't buy it unless I was specifically an MD who probably was a resident as there was too much about student loans and doctor programs.

He did pen one of the chapters in the bogleheads books though

gotcha.  i'll pass then.  thx.

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20 hours ago, wilked said:

Oops, was off a decimal.  0.5% AUM, not 0.05, my bad

My FIL just met with an FA, that's where my quoted rates come from ($2500 for a full analysis, and going forward 0.5% AUM if he wants his assets managed).  This is in Boston.

 

 

I was about to ask for a reference. :D

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